Browbeaten virus pest Karl Lauterbach has declared the pandemic over, just before the last German virus ordinances are set to expire. That whole storm of lies, restrictions, exaggerations and panic, which descended upon us like a hurricane three years ago, has now been withdrawn, with vastly less fanfare.
It’s awkward; nobody wants to talk about it.
The German pandemic is not ending because the virus is suddenly safer or because the vaccines have saved us or because we finally masked our way into a world free of respiratory pathogens. No, it is ending according to a timeline established last autumn, which idiotically synced virus restrictions to winter tyre rules. In this way, our rulers finally abandoned all pretence that their measures were anything more than public health theatre, performed to soothe the feelings of terrified ageing urbanites. Even that schedule proved hard to maintain, and the most visible and obnoxious restrictions had to be withdrawn months ago, as all political energy finally drained from the farce. What remains are vestigial mask mandates for care homes and clinics. After tomorrow, these institutions will be permitted to set their own rules.
In a muted, retrospective attempt to declare victory, Bayerischer Rundfunk cannot refrain from the tiresome lectures which are the wont of publicly funded state media outlets everywhere:
Yes, Germany is saying goodbye to its last measures later than some other European countries. But all those who had speculated just a few months ago that politicians would never again allow ‘complete freedom’ in Germany, as it was known before Corona, have now learned better. Holy Saturday of 2023 will usher in a return to complete normality. “The massive encroachments on fundamental rights were the exception in the pandemic,” Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) told the Welt am Sonntag: “Freedom is now the rule again.”
Buschmann (pictured), who bears direct responsibility for our absurdly extended pandemic regime, could not be more wrong. Freedom is not the rule again. The years since 2020 have proven that all it takes to confine the entire civilian population of a Western country to indefinite house arrest is a viral pathogen no worse than pandemic influenza. With the right media campaign, the state can close schools and most of the economy, force millions to accept dangerous and ineffective medications, all with the support of a substantial majority of the voting public. Constitutional protections, democratic freedoms, bills of rights – these don’t matter, they are worthless. All you need is a sufficiently ‘scary’ virus and they can be immediately set aside. That is not how freedom works. None of us will ever forget this.